Looking back at another week of Cupertino news and headlines, this week’s Apple Loop includes the upcoming “Unleashed” event, new leak of MacBook Pro specs, iOS 15 sneaky updates, iPhone 13 battery measurements, 9th gen iPad considering, the extended AirPods Pro warranty, new ideas from Apple Watch, and Google using Apple’s app design.
Apple Loop is here to remind you of some of the many discussions that have taken place over the last seven days around Apple (and you can read my weekly poll of Android news here on Forbes).
Apple has announced an event next week. Called “Unleashed,” Tim Cook and his team are expected to use this moment to launch the new M1X-powered MacBook Pro laptops. Interestingly, it will take place on Monday, instead of a traditional Tuesday. Given that Google has already announced the big Pixel 6 launch for Tuesday, it’s nice to see everyone give each other a little space:
“We expect the event in October to be largely dedicated to the Mac lineup — namely, long-rumored Apple Silicon will upgrade to the MacBook Pro lineup, possibly with a faster Mac mini than a larger screen iMac in. The “16-inch MacBook Pro in particular is long overdue for a refresh – Apple added some new GPU options by mid-2020, but the other specifications of the laptop have not been touched since late 2019.”
Surprising leaks from MacBook Pro
Speaking of those MacBook Pro machines, the baseline specifications of the laptops, which should be seen as the high-end MacBook Pro (compared to the M1-powered MacBook Pros launched last year) will start with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. Given Apple’s markup on these two features, I’m envious of the starting price, especially if the rumors of near parity between the MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 are true:
“MacBook Pro 14 and 16: Mini Led Displays; Smaller edges without logo underneath; 1080p webcam; Base models will have 16gb ram and 512gb storage; Base M1X is the same configuration for both models; Prices will be equal between 14 and 16 inches; New charging stone. “
The good, the bad, and the iOS update
Although it addresses a number of minor concerns (such as issues with CarPlay and the touchscreen), many of the widespread issues remain untouched and broken.
“Less positive remain most bugs in iOS 15. These include the bizarre storage bug that incorrectly reports the available capacity and should be fixed in iOS 15.0.1, camera issues, a ‘forgotten’ error in AirPods connection, wonky ProMotion animations with third-party apps, time-sensitive notifications, errors in Apple Podcasts, and ongoing battery waste issues. There are also some isolated reports of issues with Apple Books and Notification Center. “
Apple has taken the moment to address some security issues, but without enrolling the security investigator, who documented and warned Apple about the issues when the update was released.
“On Monday, Apple released iOS 15.0.2 – the second iOS update since Apple promised to act and the eighth release since [Denis] Tokarev initially alerted Apple to the security threats. By digging into the release, Tokarev was shocked to discover two things. First, Apple had again failed to fix two of its vulnerabilities in zero days. Second, the company had “quietly repaired [the] vulnerability gamed in iOS 15.0.2 without giving me credit. ””
The iPhone battery meets the iPhone screen
In promoting the new iPhone handsets, Apple has been pleased to provide comparable benchmarks at its events. Now that they are available and in a few weeks in use, we will get some hard numbers about the endurance of the smartphones. Andrei Frumusanu has focused on the power benefits of the new display – typically one of the biggest sources of battery usage:
“Today’s research into the battery life results of the new iPhone 13 series confirms what many others have already mentioned – it’s a significant upgrade over the iPhone 12 generation, with big increases across the board. Apple’s new more efficient displays, larger batteries, as well as remarkably more efficient A15 chips represent a sacred trifecta of hardware-characteristic enhancements that are extremely positive for the longevity of the new phones. There is not much more to say about it. “
Review of the new iPad
In addition to the launch of the iPhone 13 family, Apple has also updated the baseline iPad. The 9th generation tablet that Tim Cook and his team will not refer to as a tablet retains the same design and battery life, while updating the storage options and selfie camera. Luke Filipowic reviews the new hardware:
“… video calling is finally good on the cheapest iPad. I do not know about you, but my confidence in FaceTime and other video calling software has become much more important over the past few years. Thanks to the upgraded camera, the 2021 iPad is my preferred method for taking video calls. It’s so easy to sit on the couch longer in a comfortable position with an iPad than with my MacBook. “
Defective AirPods Pro utility extended
Apple has updated the AirPods Pro service program for users who experience crackling sounds, static noise, or other issues with active noise cancellation. Earlier, the program offered an extension to up to two years from the point of purchase. This has now been quietly extended to three years according to supporting documents on Apple’s website:
“Affected AirPods were produced before October 2020, and those who have AirPods Pro problems can bring them to Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for free. Apple says the AirPods Pro will be tested for service to verify their arrival. “AirPods Pro headphones that demonstrate the problem (left, right, or both) will be replaced.”
Apple Watch Series 7 Review
For all the talk about smartwatches, Apple is the clear leader in the field. With the wearable’s seventh series now available, Brian Heater’s review looks at the watch with the slightly larger, slightly brighter, and slightly faster specifications:
“The Series 7 marks one of the biggest changes in the design of the device in several generations, and even that is not what one might consider a radical departure … The truth is that the nature of wearables designers in general forbids making too radical a design change because the product has to fit your body. “
And finally …
With Android 12, Google is moving its operating system and mobile apps to the new Material You. Meanwhile, on iOS, Google is moving away from its own design keys and bringing its core apps closer to Apple’s UI guide:
“This is good news. It’s good for Google’s developers, who no longer need to build that custom code. And more importantly, it’s good for people who use Google’s apps on iOS, because they with each luck will be updated faster, work better, and make you feel more like just iOS apps, not intruders from another platform. “
Apple Loop brings you seven days of highlights every weekend here at Forbes. Do not forget to follow me so you do not miss coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, as this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.